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Save the Date: The National Ballet of Canada’s 2012/13 Season

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Just as theatre company Mirvish Productions was announcing its upcoming schedule, so too was another of the city’s performing arts institutions, the National Ballet of Canada, presenting its own highly anticipated 2012/13 programming—a selection that promises to thrill and inspire with its diverse mix of celebrated classics and groundbreaking new works.

The fall season opens with a whimsical bang when Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland returns to the Four Seasons Centre stage from November 10 to 25, 2012. Having received rapturous reviews when it premiered at last year’s Luminato festival, this lavish co-production with England’s Royal Ballet reimagines Lewis Carroll’s most beloved work through the grace and lyricism of dance.

One of the National Ballet’s most popular classical productions, Giselle, continues the season from December 5 to 9. 2012. Interpreting the story of a peasant girl who protects her lover from malevolent spirits after her own untimely death, Giselle epitomizes the drama, music and movement of the Paris Opera Ballet’s heyday, which debuted the two-act dance in 1841. Of course, once the holiday season rolls around, one can rely on the National Ballet’s perennial production of The Nutcraker. It’s back on stage from December 19 to January 5, 2013 with a promise to deliver a magical helping of yuletide cheer.

Romeo and Juliet (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Another back-by-popular-demand presentation, the company’s new version of Romeo and Juliet, is fitting for the first days of spring. On stage between March 12 and 17, 2013, Shakespeare’s tragic tale of star-crossed lovers sold out when it premiered last season, thanks in no small part to the fiery Russian vision of its acclaimed choreographer, Alexei Ratmansky.

With the summer heat comes a dynamic update of Carmen. Strongly influenced by the tenets of Cuban dance (but retaining the timeless music of Georges Bizet), this production tells the scandalous story of a gypsy and the men she seduces and drives to ruin. The sensual motions and raw jealousy of the classic ballet are reclaimed and enhanced in this full-length piece, choreographed by Davide Bombana and performed from June 5 to 16, 2013.

And if that wasn’t enough, in addition to its reimagined classics, the National Ballet of Canada continues its tradition of presenting groundbreaking new pieces, including John Neumeier’s thought-provoking portrait of one of ballet’s most famous figures, Nijinsky (March 1 to 7, 2013), and the Toronto premiere of James Kudelka’s The Man in Black (June 19 to 23, 2013), set to the music of Johnny Cash. As well, don’t miss the all-Canadian program of James Kudelka’s The Four Seasons alongside Crystal Pite’s stunning Emergence (March 20 to 24, 2013).

—Alexandra Grigorescu

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